Hello everyone and welcome back to my series “My Mental Illness and Me”. Today everything will be revolving about bipolar disorder, so I am very happy that Sunny Larue allowed me to share her post on my blog. She has uploaded this very same article on her site, which you can find here. Apart from this, she writes about her experiences with bipolar regularly and gives a very insightful perspective to this topic. You can also find her on social media; Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. Sunny is an amazing and confident woman, so give her all your support. ———————————————————————————————-
Hello champions of words, today’s blog is quite unique in the guides that I followed advice from a dear friend who told me to write down my thoughts no matter what then, when ready, come back and visit. This is that blog. When I started the few sentences, I was coming out of an episode trying to connect back to familiar surroundings. At this point it has been eight days, since I had a visit from my Chum. It’s a strange thing what inspired me to write this down. Someone asked me specifically how my mental health is. The conversation started off innocently, but I realized there’s so many misconceptions of bipolar.
No introduction needed because today blog is an answer to the million-dollar question “How is your mental health?” Oddly, it’s the question I get asked the most. Not about my hair in which I change often. Not about my writing or any other intriguing venue I’m working on, nope, with this group is always about the current status of my mental health. Most of the time I’m not offended, because people like the fact I present my mental disorder as if it’s a movie or story about my Chum and not come straight out and throw my bipolar episodes on the table like some piece of meat. With this crowd, you have to soften the blow. It’s like tasting food you never tasted before. The chef mix it up so you won’t know exactly what you’re eating until after you swallow. That’s my approach with telling someone about my bipolar diagnosis.
*Disclosure: I am not a licensed health care provider. This blog is based on personal opinion and experience. The researched information is provided by WebMD “Bipolar Disorder Myths and Facts” article and Wikipedia. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm contact your healthcare provider, licensed Doctor, local hospital or call 911*
Here’s a few things most people don’t know about bipolar.
There are three types to this disorder:
BIPOLAR I – this type is when a person experiences elevated moods swings (highs and or lows) that last a long time. An episode usually last one to several days and in more severe cases the feeling of depression can lasts weeks. This type is most common.
BIPOLAR II – this type is when a person experiences periods of depression along with elevated mood swings. The highs and or lows aren’t as severe as Bipolar I. Most episodes last anywhere from hours to one or two days.
CYCLOTHYMIC DISORDER – is when a person experiences episodes (highs and lows) that are mild in comparison to the other two. Most people who experience bouts sadness are misdiagnosed with type of bipolar disorder.
Knowing the different types, what are the symptoms? Symptoms can vary from mild case of depression, which falls under cyclothymic to the most severe cases, in which self-harm and thoughts of suicide come into play; in any case, if you think you might have mental illness disorder contact your health care provider or go to the nearest hospital for help.
If you having thoughts of suicide or self-harm contact 911 for assistance.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
There’s no cure for bipolar, only ways to manage the symptoms. In the most severe cases medication and therapy is required. Mood Stabilizers, Antidepressants and Anti-mania drugs are commonly used, but the best to manage symptoms is by following a few simple steps:
TRIGGERS – knowing your triggers is the first step in managing with bipolar. If you know the things that make you sad, or mad or even toxic relationships you can clean house rid yourself of these things and avoid triggering manic episodes.
DIET & EXERCISE – adopting a healthier diet and a daily workout routine can also help manage symptoms. Eating healthy cleanses the body of toxin, such as caffeine and sugar which affect the brain. Exercising helps giving focus and you just feel better.
SUPPORT SYSTEM – it’s always a great idea to have a support system in place. People you trust that you can lean on, if and when dealing with a full-on episode.
EARLY DETECTION – early detection is always a good thing. You can feel when symptoms are coming on just like you feel a cold coming on. When you feel symptoms getting worse, direct your focus to positive things like writing, painting, hiking or even listening to favourite uplifting music. Don’t let the train derail before getting to the station.
Education is always the best way to better understand a person position. Its’ always great to have plans in the arsenal to help manage the symptoms. Sometimes that isn’t enough. When in the midst of an episode, my advice would be to work through the symptoms. Turn to your support, focus on setting goals and meeting them. Allowing help in is a healthy way dealing verse struggling alone. Don’t feel like you have to go at it alone or please everyone or do everything. Struggling with bipolar or any mental illness or disorder can get overwhelming, but keep in mind by following the four simple steps, the life you may save can be your own.
How’s my mental health? It varies, however, today my mental health is good. Taking all this one day at a time.